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tv   European Journal  KCSMMHZ  October 20, 2012 8:30am-9:00am PDT

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>> hello and a very warm welcome to "european journal" coming to you from dw studios in brussels. for sale -- why greek islands could soon have new owners. on the run -- how criminals are keeping montenegro's police busy. and true love -- why a wedding show is a hit on turkish tv. the crisis in spain is not just economic. it is also political. the relationship between the
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spanish regions and the central government in madrid was never exactly friendly. under the franco dictatorship, until the mid-1970's, the people of catalonia were not allowed to speak catalan. today, as he is different. catalonia is an important driving force in the spanish economy, but an increasing portion of the population believe they would be better without madrid. >> team work -- that is what matters most in the textile, probably the most famous catalonian tradition. these human pyramids can be more than 15 meters high, a test of courage for the youngest climbers. various groups are taking part in the competition on barcelona 's main square. this is an occasion where cattle lands revel in their ethnic pride -- or cattleman's -- where
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catalans revel in their ethnic pride. this year, a new cry can be heard -- "independence." >> spain has ruined us. spain does not respect our culture or our language. this has to stop. our people have tried everything to get along with spain, but ultimately, we had to reach the decision to found a state of our own. >> the regional government of catalonia has voted to bring forward elections to the end of this november. the incumbent president hopes to achieve an absolute majority. one goal of his liberal nationalist party is a popular referendum on catalonia and independence, a shift from the party's previous, more moderate
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course. >> there's no way back. we know it will be a huge challenge, but there is no other option. otherwise, they would be selling themselves out, and we don't want that. >> not everyone agrees. outside the parliament of the autonomous region of catalonia, outraged citizens staged a protest. they accuse the government of being corrupt and wasting money. local politicians say the protesters are also responsible for spain's pipe -- financial crisis. >> the catalonia government is using the beta of independence to diverted attention from the serious problems that have arisen from budget cuts. these painful cutbacks will continue next year.
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that is why they are trying to divert people's attention to something else. >> barcelona used to be a boom town, but the economic recession has dragged the city down. work has been suspended at nearly all of the construction sites downtown, whether they be schools, hospitals, or other projects. university fees have nearly doubled. the regional government is cutting costs wherever it can. politicians have racked up 40 billion euros in debt. the problem is catalonia has to pay so much money to the spanish national government in madrid. at least that is what independence supporterssay. she is unemployed. she has a degree in biology and has never been that interested in politics until now.
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recently, she got involved in the newly founded catalonian national assembly. >> it was the crisis that first convinced a lot of people that an independent catalonia would be good for us. there would be more jobs, a better educational system, and a better health system. lots of people who did not support independence in the past due now. >> but independence is a charge word in the spanish capital madrid. the mood is especially testy in front of the city of bullfighting arena. heavily criticized by animal rights activists, the spanish national sport has been banned by catalonia within its territory. spanish nationalists see that as an affront. >> they will not be successful. the constitution stipulates that spain is spain. they will not be able to break
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away. >> i fear that this will not only waste time, but the blood will be spilled. that would be the worst case scenario. it is easy to imagine rocks or even bullets flying. >> estelle and her friends in barcelona are not violent separatists. catalonian separatist are peaceful and democratic. they hope that success will follow, thanks to a typically cannelloni in quality -- teamwork. >> in the late 1960's, the protests against the war in vietnam changed the face of many western countries.
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demonstrators in the u.s. and europe took to the streets because they were sick of seeing photos of dead children and dead soldiers. images can have a tremendous power. the opponents of the syrian president are aware of that, and photos are often the only weapon they have for fighting with in syria and abroad. >> the syrian flag flying proudly in the center of paris. it was hoisted here by syrian exiles, like a man who organizes daily demonstrations to highlight the massacre is back home, and to ask the outside world to get involved. he is a law student forced to flee cereal more than three months ago after joining the anti-assad protests. he risked his life to take film footage, at first with his cell phone. >> i recorded videos on youtube, and it was very professional. we made, like, professional reports to reuters, so we needed
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a professional camera. >> you went from student to journalist? >> yes. now in syria, all people who were involved in the revolution -- all of them are citizen journalists. >> he shot this video in the first city taken by the rebels. >> i was responding. i was about 20 inches from the tank. >> in our studio, rudy uses -- explains the technical tricks he has used to protect video on his computer from the prying eyes of checkpoints. he has been to jail three times. he was also tortured and feared for his life. >> maybe i'm the next one who will die in the shelling. but because we try to just let
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everyone in the world see what the rajiv -- what the regime is doing. we are ready to sacrifice ourselves to the world. >> these are all students who became a citizen journalists before fleeing syria. in paris, they found support from like mines -- mines -- minds. mahomet came to paris 12 years ago. he has been helping syrian refugees since the conflict broke out, providing documentation, accommodation, and consolation. >> when they arrive, they emerged from jail and from being tortured. plus, they no longer have a purpose, like organizing and filming the resistance to assad. we try to take them in.
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>> among the compatriots' he has been looking after is actress and activist fadwa suliemon. in march, she managed to flee syria for paris. the ordeal has taken its toll. she worries about the fate of her family. these worries have left mental scar. she cannot sleep. she can hardly eat. grief over the countless deaths is deeply etched into her pacifist's sold. >> if i say today that i am against the use of weapons, people think i'm crazy. but arming the rebels led to the massacre by the assad regime. i was sure that assad would use it as an excuse to call them armed terrorists. putting weapons in the hands of the people was a license for assad to kill them. he claims the rebels on the syrian pacifists' but islamic terrorists, armed from outside.
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>> 18 months ago, when the rebellion was in its infancy, fadwa called for civil disobedience on the streets of homs. she became a heroine of the opposition and therefore a prominent target of the regime. she was forced into hiding until she could flee. >> the syrian people have paid a very high price for their struggle for freedom. they are paying with their blood, their honor, and with their lives and the lives of their children. i dream of a future government that respects this sacrifice. i want a future government to realize the desire of the people for freedom, justice, and democracy and create a state that is not influenced by any religion or led by the military. >> the freedom and security fadwa in joyce in paris leaves her feeling even more powerless.
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she feels guilty about leaving her country behind and is afraid for her country and its future. >> deciding to sell your silverware is a decision that can be painful. take greece, for example. the nation is planning to sell its national railway company, a former airport, and some harbors. the country is in desperate need of money, and it has not added some of its national treasures, like a number of islands just off the mainland. >> the dream of your own private island in the gulf of corinth. 1.5 million euros will buy you 11 hectares. a local real-estate agent says the price is negotiable. until now, only privately owned islands were for sale if you could get through the red tape. >> many greek islands are for sale, but it is hard to get the necessary permits. after years of chasing paper, everything is in order for this
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island. >> there is no fixed dock, and walking about is an adventure. nor does it have power or drinking water, but those are just details. the real-estate agent proudly displays construction plans validated by the navy, marines, and civilian aviation authorities, the environment ministry, not to mention the forestry commission and the archaeological superintendent. these are needed by anyone wishing to build on state-owned islands. >> it would be no loss for our country if a few islands were developed, just like properties along the coast are used for tourism. why not an island? damocles has some 6000 islands and islets -- >> greece has some 6000 islands and islets. every day, kostas ferries
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tourists to them. uninhabited islands are a unique natural paradise surrounded by crystal clear water. >> when the tourists come here, they are deeply impressed by the nature, the tranquillity, and solitude. there are not many people here to bother them. the beaches are mostly deserted, and i think the germans especially like to come here and leave their cares behind. >> he says nobody wants to see highrises go up here. people come to experience untouched nature. anyway, he makes a living partly from carrying tourists out to the islands and picking them up again in the evening. he calls the government's plans to lease the islands a disaster. >> we gain nothing from selling out these treasures. just look around at what midges are here. now imagine two or three hotels standing here. what are we supposed to do with all the money if our countryside
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is totally destroyed? >> the people are watching and waiting. the three islands here are on the list for privatization, but they know that takes time. >> like to be positive or negative? the question is -- what is going to be built there? if it is done well, that is a good thing. but if it is not -- >> many locals completely oppose the leasing plans. >> i too would be absolutely disastrous given the way -- it would be absolutely disastrous. >> nicholas says many greeks are worried that the country's remaining natural beauty will be sold off cheap. >> we have no other choice but to show trust where we would not otherwise. unfortunately, we are teetering on the brink, and we've got to find help. if we oppose all the development
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plans, things here will come to a standstill. >> for now, tourists can still enjoy this unspoiled slice of paris. it will take time for the greek state to make any real money from its islands, but for many greeks, the grieving has already begun. >> this summer, the eu and montenegro began talks, but brussels has learned from the difficulties it has had in the past, and it has tightened conditions. countries that want to join the eu now first of all undergo a thorough check. as far as basic rights and the judicial system are concerned, for instance. montenegro is the first candidate that needs europe's police authority's approval, and that will not be easy for the small, balkan state. >> the port city, a special police unit has arrested two colonels.
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the chief investigator learns that the prisoners turn violent and resisting arrest. >> excuse me. you got a problem? >> you've got the problem. >> i don't have any problem. be quiet. >> you'll regret that you a rest of us. >> we got lucky. we have been looking for these two for some time. they are known members of a criminal gang. we only talk them because they were in a traffic accident -- we only caught them. >> they are taken to the police station for interrogation, but the very next day, they are back on the street. the gangs of the western balkans are extensively networked and active throughout europe. these images were taken by
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surveillance cameras in france and monaco. the gangsters came from serbia and montenegro. in this training exercise, officers are in hot pursuit across bosnia's border with montana grove. the european union is calling for cross-border police cooperation to help break up these crime syndicate networks. suspects will no longer be able to escape into neighboring countries and then vanish. the exercise is coordinated by thomas cover of austria. he has travelled a great deal of the balkans and knows the region well. >> it is cross-border crime where organized gangs make use of well-established structures
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that have existed for a long time. it is every type of organized crime, ranging from drug smuggling to gun running and controlled substances. the entire gamut. >> since the early 1990's, tiny montenegro has been governed by the same political elite with the former prime minister at its head. under his administration, corruption spread even more. opponents have accused the party of ties to international cigarette and drug-smuggling rings. now, even tourism and small businesses on the adriatic coast are said to be divided up as many as 35 organized gangs. in a propaganda video, the interior ministry is already taking credit for a victory
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against organized crime. but the reality on the streets of montenegro looks very different. the special police unit is kept busy, mingling with the tourists are local criminals and ever more gang members from serbia, bosnia-herzegovina. >> it is very noticeable that so many young people in their 20s are driving around here in very expensive luxury cars, although they've never had a job. we quite often find guns and drugs in these cars. >> this unit has caught yet another gang member, even if he is just another small-time hood. >> did you know there's a warrant out for your arrest?
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>> i did not know that. what for? >> blackmail. >> blackmail? i am a black male and assault. your left just ran out -- >> black male and assault. your love just ran out. >> the kingpins never seem to run out of luck, but they hardly ever get arrested. the special unit often feels they are tilting at windmills. >> turkish television actively helps promote the ideals of man and wife joined in matrimony. the country's tv supervisory board intervene when a man and woman were living together without being married in a popular tv series. the authorities said the main characters had to celebrate their wedding as quickly as possible. that was just fiction, but turks can also get married on tv for real, and the show is getting top ratings. for a conventional turkish
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wedding, the couple is selected by relatives. today, there are alternatives, including the hit tv show "marry me." the packaging might be new, but the goal is the same -- tying the nuptial not. traditionally in turkey, there's a stigma to not being married, so the tv show is a big deal for candidates. >> i really hope to find my husband for life here. ezra's show is my big chance. >> and she is not exaggerating. millions of turks still look forward to the day they are joined in holy matrimony. they live with their parents until then. living together before marriage is unheard of.
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the pressure from friends, family, and society is considerable. 90% of all women and 65% of men are married by the age of 24. the prime minister and his conservative islamic justice and development party are clean -- keen to play the role of moral guardians. >> you should have at least three children, says the prime minister to a bride on live national tv. if that is not enough, he adds, and do not ever get the idea of going to work. the man may be the breadwinner, but it is the woman who bakes the bread. is that everyone's vision of turkey in 2012? the tv show format is not very subtle. good looks, money, and a european union passport would be nice, but the main thing is
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just to get married. many viewers are appalled at such shows and speak of a moral decline. yet, in the conservative rural areas of turkey, "mary maine" has lots of female viewers. >> people in the villages only know the western world from tv. -- "marry me" has lots of female viewers. >> you have to remember we still have honor killings in this country. >> for some, the show is light entertainment. for others, a kindling of hope. a 12% tv audience share proves its popularity. sitting in the live audience are the aunts, mothers, and grandmothers of hopefuls. they want to see the next generation married off. if need be, through a television
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show. >> one out of two participants is sent by their mother. >> it is also a hit with turkish expatriates'. this woman felt for a man from ankara after seeing him on the show. she called the producers and got an invitation in january. >> it worked for us. >> saying your vows with an audience of several million watching is not everybody's idea of romance, but at least it means distant relatives, neighbors, colleagues, even the postman can see them content to have left the single life behind. >> and that wraps up this
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edition of "european journal." thanks for watching. until next time, bye for now.
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